Peugeot fleet sales take up retail slack
The carmaker will report a 10% increase in car sales to fleets this year, he said, but supported by a 14% growth in the volume sold to daily rental. Although unplanned, the move is aimed at minimising captive sales which he believes are a major contributor to the 9.2% growth in the UK’s retail market during 2012 and a looming problem for residual values.
‘We’ve always said we’ll do less daily rental, and since 2006 we’ve done less. This year we’ve done 14% more, but it’s a case of getting a bloody nose, not a broken nose. A pack car with delivery mileage is going to have the worst impact on our business, therefore we do what we can to avoid that,’ he explained.
Robson said the manufacturer’s residuals were improving against the aspirational end of the volume brands. Public sector popularity has contributed to the 208 achieving 62% more orders at the start of Q4 than the 207 had at the same point of 2011 despite not being on sale for a full year. Leasing company business has also grown, up 160% over four years and expected to increase a further 6-10% during 2013.
LCV sales have increased 10% year on year despite a 5% market decline. Partner is the strongest performer; large deals have resulted in a 57% sales increase this year. Boxer sales also improved; up 17% mainly due to converted vehicles and large payloads, and Robson said more of the dealer network is now selling LCVs as they see the profit potential. Flexible leasing is seen as a major growth area, as fleets continue downsize to smaller vans.
But despite being one of a handful of manufacturers selling electric vehicles, predictions aren’t as ambitious. Peugeot sold 250 of its iOn electric city car this year, mostly to fleets and aided by a reduced lease rate. Robson said they had learned a lot, mainly that pricing was a barrier and that there was no co-ordinated approach to electric vehicle ownership outside Scotland, which hasn’t helped.
Sales projections for the Partner Electric are modest as a result: ‘ We’ve had loads of interest, but I know now is loads of interest doesn’t translate to sales,’ he said. ‘We’re in discussion with France to get the pricing right, and if not it will affect how many we take. With vans it’s an open door, and people are more receptive to an electric van. If the price is right we’re aiming to sell 200-300 per year.‘